Podcasting is one of those marketing tools that many people are doing, some well, some not so and some very erratically. Being a relatively technophobic kind of a guy the whole idea of creating a podcast for sharing with the world with the hope of creating positive noise and opportunities filled me with dread. So many questions, so many challenges, so many things that could go wrong and damage my personal brand or worse still, make me look like a right muppet.
The key questions have to be – why would you do it, for what purpose and what does it look like upon completion? These are standard questions about any marketing medium but these are the questions that regularly get overlooked in the planning process. Why did I do it? Simple – to build positive momentum to my offerings, be that speaking, coaching or workshops. Slowly I learnt this was too broad an objective – spending hundreds of pounds in newspaper advertising or blogging all over the place could have just as much effect with very little return on investment – so why podcasting?
For me it is said that one of my strengths is my voice, my tone, range and texture (no I don’t do and never have done naughty phone numbers but according to some I could!) When you have a gift it’s very wasteful not to see it through and use those gifts to the full. That was a real reason for my starting podcasting. That doesn’t mean you have to have a specific type of voice to run a podcast, the skill is to have your own style and approach, being unique in this market is always going to be a challenge because of the sheer number of shows out there. The challenge is making sure the listeners always gain something of value and of worth as a result of listening. In the main you are asking people to tune in when they are in their own time – your competition is the radio, the CD collection (possibly even tapes) and the TV to name just a few – why should I listen to your podcast noise rather than do something else far more fun for me?
How did I start? In order to get me over many of my personal hurdles I partnered with others who know more about the things that I wasn’t so clued up on – the technology, the research and the connections, while also holding a very similar hunger to serve and to help. I don’t believe in doing things that don’t bring me pleasure or aren’t fun to be a part of, with that in mind the shows created are all fun, sometimes even a little puerile but that is the point. Podcasting is not about creating something of BBC standard and perfectly edited with 100% sound quality and without any errors in speech patterns, yes the recording quality specifically has to be good otherwise people will switch off but other areas can be forgiven if the content is worth listening to – I’ve been recording interviews when doorbells and phones start singing out, when dogs and children want to get involved or worse still the broadband or PC just stops working. This happens, it’s not about perfection it’s about authenticity, listenability and enjoyment for all.
Recently my youngest had a school project which need to be completed as an audio interview or video interview – long story short I interviewed the “world’s expert on the Black Death”- we had great fun. The two of us then spent the next 30 minutes editing what had been recorded, cleaning up the repetitive words and phrases, errors made and removal of waffling answers. Did you know the voice print of the word “urrmm” when I am speaking closely resembles the shape of a Stegosaurus? Fascinating stuff. Needless to say an A grade was achieved for the project!
Podcasts are adverts, that is all they are, but rather than being a 30 second show designed to make you consider buying a particular washing up liquid they are educational, fun and entertaining audio programmes where the listener in theory grows to know like and trust the presenters or hosts and in turn then feels more inclined to engage with them on a professional basis. My podcast is the called the Coffee Shop Podcast and is designed to help small and micro businesses with ideas, thoughts and suggestions taken from the interviewees that are all successful entrepreneurs and thought leaders in their sphere of excellence – as a result of this sharing of knowledge and cleverness listeners can and do go on to buy my books, programmes and specifically my “Your Business Treasure Chest Programme” – 12 months of content and support designed specifically for small and micro businesses. Www.yourbfg.com/treasure
What areas of cleverness could you have open discussions with and then share with your business community and connections? Who could you interview and learn more from that in turn could help your customers, colleagues and prospects? How much time does it honestly take up? I would say each 45 minute episode in man hours takes 5 hours to set up, record, edit and clean, master, then upload and finally market and share. Between three of us this is manageable so who can you lean on or ask for help from to make podcasting work for you? Why would I want to listen?
Don’t be alone, ask for help. Why not create a PowerTeam to help you build your Podcast show? Go on…stand out from the crowd. I can help, but only if you ask?! firstname.lastname@example.org